In his new series of works on paper, Jorn Ebner is working towards the dissolution of the figurative image. His starting point is the Death Dwarf, a character from William S Burroughs’ Nova Express, who re-emerges in these works as variations of Hans Holbein’s Danse Macabre, a series of 41 woodcuts, which Ebner has re-drawn as gestural drawings. Death Dwarf is the main character, the drawings depict him and his environment, both in states of immateriality or digital fiction; music, literature and art are points of departure, reference and subject matter at the same time.

For the series, Death Drum, which draws its title from a Burroughs short story, Ebner used one of Holbein’s prints depicting a drum-beating skeleton, as a model for the dissolution of the death figure. The figure merges into an environment of pencil strokes. By way of an antidote to Holbein’s grim forebodings are three electronic drawings after a bucolic painting by the Bavarian artist Franz von Stuck (1863-1928), in which the group of dancers gradually dissolves into gestural strokes. Jorn Ebner continues to explore the digital and analogue imaging: the rise of the one seems to call for the death of the other. Yet in Ebner’s work, both are equal in the same universe: a paradise.

Ebner’s most recent group of drawings in this series, Des Todes Tod (The death of Death), brings the exploration of figurative dissolution full circle. The frenetic pencil and ink drawings are seething with movement and barely suppressed energy as if bursting with the potential of life – the final defeat of the Death Dwarf.

The Death Dwarf’s landscapes have been depicted in a new series of digital landscape prints, constructed in a landscape modelling software. The images have a dark atmosphere, and hover between satellite photography, colour field painting and computer game environment. The supposed hyperreality of computer-generated images is played out against the gestural materiality of the hand-made.